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The Surprising History and Science of Tear Gas


On Wednesday, hundreds of Turkish riot police forced thousands of protestors out of Taksim Square in Istanbul, by showering them with tear gas and blasting them with water cannons. The square has been ground zero for protests that started on May 31 with the goal to stop developers from cutting down trees—but the unrest has since spread to broader issues and at least 78 other Turkish cities, according to news reports.

Protesters have been calling for an end to the leadership of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, citing what they call increasingly authoritarian measures, including restrictions on alcohol sales, separation of genders in schools, and other issues.

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